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Best solution for watching 4K content on internal home network

matthew_mmatthew_m Posts: 13Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

Okay everyone,

I know this has been asked numerous times, but I never seem to see the answers that help me out. I currently have a QNAP NAS TS-451+ with 8 TBs of usable storage. I have 7 TBs of content and some of that consists of 4K videos. I have recently upgraded by theater room to a Sony 4K 75 inch TV. I run all my media from a Plex server on my NAS either using the Plex app on my TV and in some cases I use DLNA. My issue is that I seem to have trouble streaming 4k content on my internal network from QNAP specifically unable to open the files at all and start watching them or continues to buffer, unless I shrink the video file, no matter what app I use to watch the video from. I prefer to take advantage of my TV and media system that I have now and view my content in 4k but at the same time I would prefer to limit my costs. I have considered buying another NAS that is marketed for 4K streaming, but I think there should be a cheaper way. I have tried Kodi and DLNA and I have similar issues with the 4K content when running from my NAS. Can I get some input on what improvements I should make to be able to watch 4k content internally only without ongoing buffering issues or unable to open them at all?

Not relevant but I have AT&T GB Fiber connection and I am running the Eero wireless devices for my internal network equipment. I have my home completely wired with CAT6.
My NAS as I mentioned is a QNAP NAS TS-451+ with 8 TBs of storage with a little under 1 TB free. I have about a TB of 4k content while everything else is 1080p and/or 720p
TV is Sony XBR75X940D with a hardwired network connection to it
I also have other media devices such as NVIDIA SHIELD (2015) and XBox One (not the S)
Plex runs on NAS connected via CAT6 connection to a gigabit switch

I am open to any suggestions or cheap alternatives. Thank you in advance!

Best Answers

Answers

  • camncharcamnchar Posts: 193Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Yeah an Odroid C2 running OpenPHT will direct play nearly everything you throw at it, including HEVC and 4k.

  • mbze430mbze430 Posts: 122Members ✭✭
    edited July 12

    as suggested, you should look at your client side instead. All my TVs are now 4K HDR units. The only time it needs to transcode is the Plex client causing it to transcode. (LG WebOS and Samsung Tizen Plex App are guilty of this). Because of the bad coding of the Official apps by the Plex team, my options for LG WebOS is use Xplay or DLNA stream. For the Samsung Tizen I have to use the DLNA stream.

    Otherwise you would need to build a Plex Server with a Kirby Lake CPU and use the new Plex hardware transcode feature, which will degrade your 4K mediums anyway.

    I personally run my Plex Server on a cluster of ESXi hosts with Xeon processors, but that is still isn't enough to live transcode 4k streams. I am waiting for Plex to stabilize the HW GPU support so I can stick in a few cheapy Nvidia 960 GPUS in my ESXi host for some pass-through PCIe HW GPU transcoding when I am away from home (4k stream down to 1080 streams).

    My "cheapest" recommendation to all this problem is to get a Chromecast Ultra + the RJ45 kit. The CCU can play HDR+Dolby Vision+HLG and can pass Dolby Atmos. So if you have an AVR that support ALL those standards, just stick the CCU in the AVR and you are set.

  • matthew_mmatthew_m Posts: 13Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thank you all for your responses so far. Peter you are correct, I was not very clear when I was explaining how it is currently works. I have tried to transcode some of the existing 4k content in Plex and keep it in the same format, only hoping that if I am transcoding it in Plex or on my NAS that it might work, but it didn't. In most cases I just keep it in the format I received it in. I prefer to not do any transcoding. I just want to direct play any content I have in its original format. So if that is a 4k video file that is 40g+ in size, I want to be able to play that without any shuttering, buffering, or no picture at all.

    As for the Nvidia Shield, I was able to copy some of my 4k content to that device and I had more success running it on there than I did running the files from my NAS, but I still had some issues with running it from that device as well. My only thought was that because it was the first Shield rather then the newly released one it didn't support all forms of 4k such as HDR and Vision. The NUC would definitely probably help resolve the issue but its up there in price and only serves one purpose. I would rather invest that money into another NAS that supports a 4K if I was going to spend another $600 or more.

    Camnchar - You mentioned the ODroid, what would be the min specs I would need accomplish this?

    Mbz - I agree that is more than likely client side, although my TV supports all formats but it could be a coding issue as you suggested. I have a Samsung from several years ago and I remember having numerous issues with Plex app on that TV. Trying the Chromecast is super inexpensive and that would quickly rule out a client side issue if I still encounter issues. Are you aware of any Smart TVs that are known to work better with streaming 4k content from a NAS device? I ask this because I also have a Hi-Sense 4k and another Haier 4k TV setup in my kids play rooms. Although those TVs are much cheaper and I didn't get them to be handling all the top end content out there, its worth me testing on them if they have been rumored to work better than the Sony.

  • Peter_WPeter_W Posts: 2,019Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    I think we are running around in circles here. Not sure who is not understanding whom but I will try again, and I hope for no hard feelings. I am just trying to get to the bottom of this to ensure you get the best possible solution.

    What is a NAS that "supports 4K" in your mind? You already have a NAS that that can send data fast enough across a gigabit LAN in order to accomodate a 4K high bitrate stream. And you've concluded that everything is wired with CAT6 (4K has to be wired, wireless will be impossible) so that should not be an issue either.

    Server running VMware/NAPP-IT/OmniOS/ZFS
    Lian Li PC-Z70 - Corsair AX760 - Intel E3-1245V3 w Noctua NH-U14S CPU cooler - Supermicro X10SAE - 32GB Kingston ECC RAM - Intel 530 SSD 80GB - LSI MegaRAID 9240-8i (flashed to IT mode) - 8 3TB WD RED in Raid-Z2

    Please check the support site first - https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us :: No PM's unless requested ::

  • matthew_mmatthew_m Posts: 13Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thank you all for your input. I will start with a Chromecast Ultra and see how it goes.

    Just so I am not leaving any question unanswered and in case someone has something new to provide, my NAS is also my Plex server, so its not just a straight storage device. If you have used a QNAP or Synology NAS before, they come with apps and all kinds of tools, including its own Media clients, Plex, Kodi, etc. It was my understanding that your Plex server had to be able to handle 4K output. Maybe I misunderstood this, but if its just about acting as a storage device only, then you are correct, the NAS shouldn't be the problem. Hope I have cleared up the confusion.

  • matthew_mmatthew_m Posts: 13Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Do you think the Roku 4 would be good or it has to be a Chromecast Ultra?

  • mbze430mbze430 Posts: 122Members ✭✭

    I don't think Roku has Dolby Vision. If that isn't something you looking for than guess it doesn't matter.

  • Peter_WPeter_W Posts: 2,019Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    I double-checked and the receiver app for chromecast has not been updated with the additional capabilities over the regular chromecast. The best options as of now are to use PMP or the Shield (in a home-theater setup where 4K and x265 are important factors).

    Server running VMware/NAPP-IT/OmniOS/ZFS
    Lian Li PC-Z70 - Corsair AX760 - Intel E3-1245V3 w Noctua NH-U14S CPU cooler - Supermicro X10SAE - 32GB Kingston ECC RAM - Intel 530 SSD 80GB - LSI MegaRAID 9240-8i (flashed to IT mode) - 8 3TB WD RED in Raid-Z2

    Please check the support site first - https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us :: No PM's unless requested ::

  • camncharcamnchar Posts: 193Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    If you get the odroid from Amazon, you can always return it if it doesn't meet your needs.

    https://www.amazon.com/ODROID-C2-Project-Board-Quad-Gigabit/dp/B01CQBRXOQ/

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